October 12, 2021

A campaign to fight fires; a partnership to prevent them


We launched the Rainforest Firefighters campaign in August to raise money for people fighting the most important fire in the world: rainforest fire.

Check it out. 

These fires affect our whole planet – from weather to food, medicine and more. 

Putting fires out, however, is just part of the story.

Care about rainforest fire? Care about CARE.

Our new partnership with Central Asháninka del Río Ene (CARE) explores what can be done to prevent rainforest fires that burn around the world.

CARE is an indigenous-led organisation legally representing 19 Asháninka communities in the Ene River Basin in the Peruvian Amazon. The organisation focuses its work on the demands and aspirations of people living in the Amazon to promote economic and social development. Protecting rainforest is incredibly important in honouring this mission. 

Technical team of the CARE Fire Mitigation project in the Amazon

The CARE Fire Mitigation Project team: Blanca Violeta Ponce Vigo, Adrian Wolf Farro Paredes, Hans Roger Buttgenbach Verde.

A new approach to playing with fire.

The Asháninka, alongside other rainforest communities, have a rich history of using fire for good in land management and combatting wildfire; quite literally fighting fire with fire. These practices are still valuable and relevant today, in learning how we can live with the land rather than exploit it. The climate crisis continues to change conditions drastically, drying out rainforest around the world more than usual during the hot season. As a result, new approaches are needed and that’s exactly what this new partnership will explore. 

Adapting to climate-induced environmental change and reimagining traditional practices will create new ways of managing the land. This protects the Asháninka, their home, their livelihoods, the rainforest and the health of our planet.

How cash, CARE and community create healthy rainforest.

Your cash, together with CARE’s know-how and community action, has kickstarted the development of a forest fire management plan. Think of this as an investigation into how wildfires can be tackled in climate crisis-affected environments, and what communities can do about it.

A person drawing on a piece of paper

One of Cool Earth’s partners mapping land.

Prevent > Fight.

Once plans are in place with the villages we partner with, they have the potential to be scaled up and shared with other rainforest communities. This creates strong relationships and a network for rainforest fire protection.

We spoke to Matt Proctor, head of Cool Earth’s Forest Impact Labs, to discover why indigenous-led prevention planning is crucial:

“Satellites can pick up on fires from space in almost real-time. Amazing, right? We in the West are told how bad these fires are every year by academics and news outlets, but detailed information reaching local and indigenous people is so much more useful. Filling this gap in the chain of information will arm our partners with the news, data and support they need to tackle not just fires, but other threats to their forest, livelihoods and lives.” 

Read more about our innovative Forest Impact Lab project here.

Ultimately, our collective long-term goal is to give village members the training needed to implement this plan, and to monitor and identify trends in forest health to combat fires before they even start. 

Jaime standing next to a tree that he planted in Peru © Cool Earth.

Jaime standing next to a tree that he planted in Peru © Cool Earth.

Believe in people with us.

Imagine if more people like yourself committed to backing those living in rainforest to help find the tools, new knowledge and know-how to combat the world-shaping fires we see each year during fire season. 

If rainforest remains healthy and is given the chance to thrive it forms part of the essential action needed to cool our earth. This ambition, to give people living in rainforest the means to protect their homes in the face of the climate crisis, drives our work forward. 

 

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